This year, the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) is dedicated to questions dealing with European security, the opportunities offered by the climate crisis and the various possibilities of financing Europe's future. Already on 18 August, young scholarship holders arrived to discuss the main topics beforehand, thus prepared themselves for the many encounters with high level scientists, politicians, economists etc. With the new digital learning mission, the "Alpbach Challenges" which were launched in the beginning of the year and developed further during the stay of the project teamsin Alpbach, the European Forum wants to challenge concrete ideas more strongly. During the conference week, the results will be discussed within the framework of the three thematical tracks “Securing Our Future”, “The Climate Opportunity” and “The Financing of Europe’s Future” in an interdisciplinary and intergenerational way.
On 24 August, Federal President of the Republic of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen was part of this year's opening of the Forum. Together with his Greek counterpart Katerina Sakellaropoulou he addressed current challenges of Europe. In the session "Past the Storm, a Dream for Europe” they also expressed their thoughts on the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and the related reception and distribution of refugees. The Federal President of the Republic of Austria said that "there is a moral, political and legal obligation for the EU and all its member states to give shelter to people who have to leave their homes".
During her first visit to Austria, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said: "No single country can find a solution to the current challenges, be it the refugee crisis or the climate catastrophe. Europe needs a holistic approach. If we do not work together, we will not find solutions." Andreas Treichl, President of the European Forum Alpbach, emphasised above all the role of young people in shaping the future of Europe.
There is a moral, political and legal obligation for the EU and all its member states to give shelter to people who have to leave their homes.
Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal president of the republic of austria
The European Forum Alpbach is an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture. Since 1945, it is addressing the relevant socio-political issues of our time within the framework of an annual conference in Alpbach and other events throughout the year.
The European Forum Alpbach brings together international decision-makers from various backgrounds, an interested audience, and dedicated young people. It is a platform for a dialogue which is intergenerational and moves across borders. Furthermore, it is committed to a sustainable, democratic society and it aims to stimulate impulses for the further development of European integration.